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Stone Crab Claws with lemon and mustard sauce at Joe's

Rich’s Favorite Things

Part 5

In honor of Lettuce’s 50th Anniversary, Rich Melman, Founder of Lettuce Entertain You, has decided to look back and share some of his favorite menu items of the past 50 years. Throughout this anniversary year, we will be showcasing all of these items.

Follow us on Instagram as we reveal more of his favorite things.

Here they are in Rich’s own words:

I believe that a successful restaurant starts with good food – whether it’s a simple grilled cheese sandwich or a sophisticated French meal. I’ve always tried to put items on our menus that I liked and that I’m excited about. After 50 years, I’m still experimenting, still learning and still searching to find something new that I want to share with our guests. Even though some of our menu items might be a few decades old, I’ve found that food that tastes good usually doesn’t go out of style. 

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite menu items with you. Most of the dishes are from Lettuce menus, but a few items are from other restaurants that I love.

Read ahead for items 28 – 33. Find all of Rich’s favorites here.

33. Crispy Short Rib Hummus

Aba's Short Rib HummusThere are four kinds of hummus on Aba’s menu, and this unique version is one of my favorites. Hummus mixed with crispy strips of short-rib meat, grilled onions, sherry and beef jus. It’s like a meal in itself.
Visit Aba

32. Bang Bang Crispy Cauliflower

Hub 51
Bang Bang Cauliflower at Hub 51
I love these spicy little nuggets of tempura-battered cauliflower, tossed in a spicy miso mayo and togarashi (Japanese spice mix), topped with shaved scallions and served with lime wedges. Great for sharing.
Visit Hub 51 

31. Florida Stone Crab Claws with Joe’s Mustard Sauce

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Stone Crab Claws with lemon and mustard sauce at Joe's
For the longest time, the original Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami only served stone crab claws during their short fishing season (mid-October to May 1), until the owners perfected a freezing process that preserves the flavor and texture. We did many, many taste tests to be sure the quality was there. Now we serve them year-round. The creamy mustard sauce is the same one Joe’s has been serving since it began. Stone crabs and mustard sauce – simple, and perfect.
Visit Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

30. Beef Bourguignon

Mon Ami Gabi
Beef Bourguignon at Mon Ami Gabi
Thick chunks of slow-cooked beef in a rich red wine sauce with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, carrots, garlic and herbs, served over egg noodles. It’s a classic bistro dish and a terrific comfort-food entrée.
Visit Mon Ami Gabi

29. Housemade Limoncello

Osteria Via Stato
Housemade Limoncello at Osteria Via Stato
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur, made with just enough sugar to soften the sharp-lemon taste. We make ours in-house, and the process takes two weeks. We serve it in 4-ounce or 12-ounce bottles. You can also buy our limoncello-making kit, which includes a video class.
Visit Osteria Via Stato

28. Seafood Gumbo

Shaw’s Crab House
Seafood Gumbo at Shaw's
You can order this by the cup or bowl. The seafood in the gumbo can vary, including some combination of salmon, tuna, halibut and shrimp. Whatever the mix, it’s served in a spicy, okra-thickened broth poured over steamed rice.
Visit Shaw’s Crab House


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